Weekly Intelligence Notes #20-03
WIN #20, dated 27 May 2003
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs
ED. NOTE: MEMORIAL DAY 2003 -- We are the inheritors of the lives lost by our fellow soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in offensive and defensive wars fought by our Nation. I remember my schoolmates and relatives killed during WWII, the struggle against the Nazis and their degrading ethnic theories and vicious anti-semitism. And I remember vividly the WWII veterans in the Army reserves who were called up unexpectedly again for the Korean War in 1950, ripped away suddenly from their young families, to die in large numbers in the Pusan perimeter, with inadequate and inferior weapons -- but they held. My heart still aches for all those tens of thousands of dead and wounded in the Korean War, the first hot war in the so-called Cold War, for the men that time forgot and the Nation treated with indifference. And in Vietnam there were thousands again, with both the living and dead shamefully reviled by politicians, media and schools at the time. I remember Major M., one of the USAF pilots with whom I flew PsyWar missions. One time our single-engine plane's propeller stopped in mid-air, possibly by ground fire. He got us down safely, but was not so lucky soon after -- crashed some thirty days after my rotation, a fine officer, with wife and children and advanced education degrees -- and a great future.
And now we honor our troopers in Afghanistan, the dead and maimed in the war against al-Qaeda, and by extension, the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalism. They are still dying in Afghanistan, now a forgotten war, doing their duty. And finally, we commemorate our most recent dead, in Iraq, also mercifully few in number, killed during the opening war of the new American 'World Empire' (Pax Americana) epoch.
Among the dead in Iraq I was struck by the case of one young Army trooper, SPC Rasheed Sahib, an American of Arab (semitic) extraction, allegedly killed when a fellow soldier shot him while they were "cleaning their weapons." It is disturbing. One can only hope that we are not fomenting new ethnic hatreds among our population. That is where I came in during WWII. We must guard against being too easily manipulated into blind ethnic or other hatreds or prejudices (Muslim, Arab, French, Chinese, etc etc), for it does not honor our dead. We honor them by defending not only our national independence, but by vigilant courage on behalf of our Constitution and our traditional values -- the wisdom of our founding fathers, political liberty, human dignity, common sense and individual decency. Then we stand tall, like they did, the dead soldiers of yesterday. (Ed. Postcript - - Memorial Day 2003 was also my birthday, so permit this personal expression) (Jonkers)
CONTENTS of this WIN
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FBI TAKES LEAD ON FINANCIAL INVESTIGATIONS --The creation of the Homeland Security Department (HSD) has inevitably led to confusion about roles and missions. One of these controversies, dealing with control over terrorism-related financial investigations, has now been settled in favor of the FBI. According to the media, always on the trail of potential controversy, the Secret Service, which is the nation's lead agency for investigating counterfeiting, cyber-crime and many other kinds of financial fraud, is not pleased with the decision. They now must check with the FBI. In addition, the Customs Service has reportedly been feuding with the FBI over tactics in discovering sources of funding terrorist-support groups. Customs has reportedly been leading an interagency effort, Operation Green Quest, but this name now defunct.
The current deal lets the Justice Department "lead the federal law enforcement effort against terrorist financing," and allows Homeland Security agents to examine terrorism and terrorist financing "only with the consent of the FBI." Justice Department and FBI officials said all financial terrorism investigations will be coordinated by the FBI-led National Joint Terrorism Task Force, and "will be aided by the expertise of Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs. We're all working together to prevent terrorism." All routine and normal in Washington. In the end, somehow among the jostling egos, the job will be done. (Jonkers) (WashPost 23 May 03, p. A7//J. Mintz & D. Eggen)
INTELLIGENCE SPURS SANCTIONS AGAINST CHINA --The US government, by means of two Presidential Executive Orders dated 9 May 2003, has levied "real teeth" sanctions on China's third-largest state-run manufacturer, based on intelligence reports of PRC missile-related technology sales to Iran. The US sanctions "prohibit the importation into the United States of any goods, technology, or services produced or provided by the entities" for the period of two years. The Government further announced it would take action against the Chinese government's proliferation activities in general. The Chinese firm concerned, North China Industries Corp. (NORINCO), was detected selling unspecified technologies or materials -- specialty steel -- to Iran, potentially usable in missiles capable of carrying WMD.
The PRC responded that "The Chinese side's company has not offered help to the relevant projects of Iran. The US is imposing its own national policy on others for no good reason." This does not appear to be a denial of the transaction, which, according to Beijing, is being investigated. Beijing has not signed the global treaty on sales of missiles and related technologies, but agreed to abide by its restrictions. Its export controls and nonproliferation performance has been improving recently, but they have had problems enforcing its rules. US intelligence keeps a sharp watch, however, and the US is not tolerant of violations. Iran's Shahab 3 missile has an 800 mile range -- enough to reach Israel.
NORINCO was created in 1980 as a weapons maker, but has expanded into an array of businesses. The company produces some 4,000 products ranging from toys to missiles; unofficial estimates are that the two-year ban will cost the company up to $100 million in US sales. The company has at least eight subsidiaries in California and New Jersey.
One of the minor side-effects of the US sanctions may be a sense of gratification for intelligence analysts seeing their work translated into political action. The timing of the sanctions, however, may also be a deliberate warning shot by the Administration that China is, or could be, in the near-term line-up of targets. That will affect the tone of the prospective meeting between President Bush and the new Chinese president, Hu Jintao, during President Bush's upcoming European tour. (Harvey/Jonkers)Wash. Times 23 May '03, pg.1 //B. Gertz)(WashTimes 24 May03, p. A9 //J. McDonald)
CIA TO REVIEW IRAQ INTELLIGENCE BIAS -- The House Intelligence committee (HPSCI) has expressed concern about the US failure to find 'weapons of mass destruction' in Iraq and directed that CIA prepare a report on intelligence accuracy by 1 July 2003. This follows widespread criticism that the Defense Department and other parts of the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.
A letter, signed by Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), the HPSC/I Chairman, states that the goal is "to ensure that the intelligence analysis relayed to our policymakers from the intelligence community was accurate, unbiased, and timely -- in light of new information resulting from recent events in Iraq." The committee wants to know "how the intelligence picture regarding Iraqi WMD was developed" and asks the CIA to answer questions on issues such as the amount and quality of the information provided to administration officials and whether "dissenting views" were "properly weighed."
The four retired senior CIA analysts conducting the study have completed a 100-page draft review of the analyses put out by the CIA as well as estimates from the National Intelligence Council (made up of representatives of the 12 U.S. intelligence agencies). One official who has read the draft study said, "There is no question there was a lot of pressure on analysts to support preconceived judgments." But, he added, "the analysts' record is not bad when you consider you have strong policymakers pushing analysts for information that supports their specific views."
Previous WINs have referred to cooked and half-baked intelligence leaving top officials, like the Secretary of State, dangling in the wind, ascribing it to political imperatives to manufacture a "threat" as public and international justification for the invasion of Iraq -- an invasion and conquest that was really fundamentally based on a calculated political strategy. The effort to produce 'justification intelligence,' which included intelligence based on easily discovered forgeries, that was provided to Defense and other Administration decision-makers and used in propaganda statements, apparently came from an ad hoc political intelligence group in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, not the Intelligence Community. One can cynically observe that "truth is the first casualty in war," and the population will happily consume whoppers, but misinformation fed to top decision-makers can be dangerous for the republic. One expects that the CIA will come out relatively clean. Media reports point to the mis-information culprit having been elsewhere. (Jonkers) (Wash. Post 23 May 2003, p. 13 //D. Priest and W. Pincus)
US ANTI-TERRORIST LAW USED AGAINST HACKERS & THIEVES -- The enhanced search and surveillance powers that Congress gave the Justice Department in the USA-PATRIOT ACT haven't just been used in the war on terror: It turns out they're helpful in everything from spying on credit cards fraudsters to tracking down computer hackers. On Tuesday lawmakers on the House Judiciary committee publicly released the Justice Department's written response to a laundry list of congressional questions probing law enforcement's use of the Act, which passed as an anti-terror measure in October 2001. (Levine Newsbits 5/22) (http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/55/30824.html) (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0503/052203tdpm1.htm)
SECURITY CONFERENCE OFFERS PREDICTIONS -- The forecast calls for Intelligence Technology (IT) disasters along with benefits of nanotechnology. The good news: By 2010, computers should match the human brain in processing power. The bad news: By decade's end, wireless-based viruses, hacking and security breaches will be a major headache for IT administrators. (Levine 05/21) (http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,81402,00.html)
NEW SURVEILLANCE TECHNIQUE - WATCH HOW YOU WALK -- A new surveillance system hopes to identify people by the way they walk. The Pentagon is developing radar-based device that can identify people by the way they walk, for use in a new antiterrorist surveillance system. Operating on the theory that an individual's walk is as unique as a signature, the Pentagon has financed a research project at the Georgia Institute of Technology that has been 80 to 95 percent successful in identifying people. (Levine 5/19) (http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/892547p-6218025c.html)
The CIA's Russians -- by John Limond Hart; Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD www.navalinstitute.org, $28.95. ISBN: 1-59114-352-7; 248 pages, notes, bibliography, index. "Capping a brilliant career as a CIA Operations Officer, the late John Hart made a unique contribution to the art of espionage by his original research into the psyches and motives of Soviet defectors. This immensely readable book is must reading for intelligence practitioners and interested enthusiasts alike." [-- John H. Waller, former Inspector General of CIA, and AFIO Board Member]. This is a work for those curious about what makes spies tick...what motivates them to divulge secrets that could damage their homelands, and take life-threatening risks to aid a foreign power as they passed information to the CIA during the Cold War. Hart analyzes the motivations of four major Soviet agents -- Yuri Nosenko, the dissident KGB agent who disclosed the presence of bugs in the American embassy in Moscow; Col. Oleg V. Penkovsky, who supplied high-level espionage materials to his SIS and CIA handlers in 1961 and 1962... helping the U.S. avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis [executed by the KGB when uncloaked]; GRU Officer Maj. Pyotr Popov who provided CIA with information on structure of post-WWII GRU [also executed after being doubled and recalled], and Mikhail -- you'll have to read the book to learn about this fourth mysterious case. We also follow what happens to Nosenko when he comes under suspicion by the very Americans he sought to help..."....a harrowing tale..that could have come from the pen of Dostoevsky, except the tormentors are, in this instance, Americans." [-- writes reviewer Ward Just]. The book shows "...lessons for today on why it has been so difficult to recruit spies among Asian and Islamic terrorists." [-- Walter Pincus, Washington Post]. Highly recommended (EAB). Ed. Note: Outstanding book. Get a feel for what these spies were really like as human beings. Good, useful reading! (RJ)
DARPA TERRORIST INFORMATION AWARENESS (TIA) REPORT -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) released its congressionally-mandated report on the Total Information Awareness program, now re-designated the Terrorist Information Awareness program. The 20 May report can be founds at: http://www.darpa.mil/body/tia/tia_report_page.htm (Secrecy News)
USA PATRIOT ACT IMPLEMENTATION -- The Justice Department last week provided congressional overseers with new information concerning its implementation of the USA Patriot Act. The May 20 release from the House Judiciary Committee can be viewed at: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/news052003.htm
A HARD LOOK AT LEAKS -- "The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has experienced roughly a hundred leaks [of classified information] just since 2000 that have damaged US imagery collection effectiveness. Many dozens of leaks on the activities and programs of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) have also helped foreign adversaries develop countermeasures to space-borne collection operations. DIA and the military services, too, have suffered collection losses as a result of media leaks." So writes James B. Bruce, Vice Chairman of something called the DCI Foreign Denial and Deception Committee, in an article about unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the latest unclassified issue of the CIA journal “Studies in Intelligence.” See "The Consequences of Permissive Neglect: Laws and Leaks of Classified Intelligence" by James B. Bruce, Studies in Intelligence, vol. 47, no. 1, 2003.(Secrecy News)
NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE (NRO) CRITIQUE -- Last year, aerospace executive David Thompson delivered a blistering attack on the performance of the NRO, which builds and operates the nation's spy satellites. Mr. Thompson's speech, presented at the National Space Symposium in April 2002, alluded to previously unreported NRO technical disasters and mission failures that consumed billions of dollars. The speech is remarkable for its undisguised vitriol as well as its startling disclosures, can be found at: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/thompson.html
NRO REJOINDER -- On 8 April 2003 NRO Director Peter Teets spoke at the very same forum and acknowledged Mr. Thompson's criticisms in general terms, saying "Frankly, I did have the opportunity to read David's speech. While it may have been a bit uncomplimentary, I read it in the spirit that there may be a grain of truth there. We spent some time at a recent CEO conference talking through some of his points. We always look for ways to improve our operations..." Director Teets speech can be found at http://www.nro.gov/PressReleases/prs_rel68.html
Terrorist Black Humor -- Reuters adds to the speculation about why a man purporting to be Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's No. 2 man, recently listed Norway among the countries the terror group is targeting. It was not immediately clear why oil-rich NATO-member Norway, which did not send troops to fight in the Iraq war, was mentioned. Oslo's main role in the Middle East has been to help mediate between Israelis and Palestinians. It may be just a variation of an old Hitler joke:
"Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden are sitting in a cafe. A man walks up to them and asks, "Say, aren't you Osama bin Laden?"
"Well, I really admire what you did on Sept. 11. What do you have planned next?"
"I'm going to kill all the Americans, and all the Norwegians."
The man is puzzled. "Norwegians? Why Norwegians?"
Bin Laden turns to Zawahiri and says, "See? I told you nobody would care about the Americans!" (Reuters, Web J. Taranto, 22 May03) (PJK)
Ernie O. writes ref. HIZB-ALLAH (Hezbollah) -- Re: Larry S.'s note about Hezbollah in WIN 19-03. "hezb' (sometimes 'hizb") is the common Arabic/Persian word for "party" In Persian the old communist party was Hizb-e-Tudeh, Party of the Masses. Don't worry about the -e- that's only a Persian grammar thing. So, the 'z' represents the Arabic letter. 'S' is a completely different letter. The term 'Hizbollah' only represents the pronunciation. The written version should indeed be written as two words to maintain the integrity of the name Allah. Spoken Arabic varies considerably across the Arab speaking world.
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